Texas Can Thrive On Its Own

Published  Sunday, April 25, 2010

Everything's bigger in Texas. Texans know this and so does the rest of the world. However, I think Texans forget just how much of this Country's population resides within our borders.

The entire population of the United States is only three hundred million with almost twenty five million being Texans, according to the U.S. Census Estimates. That means that our little ol' state contains nearly ten percent of the entire population of our Country, not to mention the fact that over twelve percent of the United States Armed Forces is comprised of Texans. Besides having a strong presence in the Military and the Country in general, Texans also have a huge sense of pride and determination, something that we were forced to rely on during the Great Depression.

During the Great Depression, Texas among several other states suffered the wrath of the Dust Storms. All of the crops were dead in Texas and many people expected the government to step in and bail everyone out by sending seeds or money. However, the man in the Oval Office, President Hoover, had a different idea. Though many label him a "Big Government" President, Hoover had many outlooks and viewpoints that Libertarians and Constitutionalists (and anyone else fed up with Big Government, for that matter) can relate to.

Hoover believed in "rugged individualism", that is, the idea that people could succeed through their own efforts and take care of themselves, rather than depend on government hand-outs. He referred to his beliefs as liberalism in its original form.

In his concession speech after the 1932 presidential campaign, Hoover made the statement "you cannot extend the mastery of government over the daily life of a people without somewhere making it master of people's souls and thoughts...Every step in that direction poisons the very roots of liberalism. It poisons political equality, free speech, free press, and equality of opportunity. It is the road not to more liberty but to less liberty. True liberalism is found not in striving to spread bureaucracy, but in striving to set bounds to it. True liberalism seeks all legitimate freedom first in the confident belief that without such freedom the pursuit of other blessings is in vain."1 A statement as true today as it was then.

Hoover believed that we Texans could and would pull ourselves out of the problems facing us with the generosity of our neighbors and our own determination to survive and thrive. So why are those Texans any different from the people that fill our state now? I don’t believe that they are.

Federal aid comes into our state on every possible avenue into every possible aspect of our lives. For example, in fiscal year 2010 (FY 2010) Texas received over $1.6 billion dollars in federal funding for selected Education programs, over $1.5 billion for selected Health and Human Services and over $300 million for various other services such as Unemployment, Bioterrorism Grants, Justice Assistance among other programs.2 Money also flows into the state through FEMA; since 2001 the organization has sent more than $3.45 billion to Texas for declared disasters.3

It also seems that most of this money has strings attached. In 2010, Texas Gov. Rick Perry turned down the opportunity for our state to apply to receive up to $700 million in federal aid for Education. Perry is quoted on the subject as saying “I will not commit Texas taxpayers to unfunded federal obligations or to the adoption of unproven, cost-prohibitive national curriculum standards and tests”.4 Far from improving over time, it seems that federal aid will now come with even more government involvement; the new Health Care Bill adds Education legislation stating that those colleges that receive federal aid will have to have their textbooks approved by the government. You can read more about this at Big Goverment.com.

I for one think that President Hoover would be mortified to see just how much the government is trying to meddle in people's lives today. However, I for one also am proud to see that Texas is starting to take a stand against it. Let us take care of our own people and problems. According to the Texas Comptrollers office, as of March 15th, 2010, Texas is the 11th largest economy in the world, we have to stand up and protect that. If we allow the federal government to continue to try and clamp down on our money through taxation and regulations, we will lose all modicum of freedom.

It is time to stand up for ourselves and remember the strength that President Hoover saw in our state, to make the commitment to help each other because it's the right thing to do, and to prove once again to the federal government that our state can thrive just fine without them.

1. http://www.hooverassociation.org/hoover/speeches/challenge_to_liberty.php
2. http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Federal_Funds/Watch_2010/Federal_Funds_011510.pdf
3. http://motherjones.com/mojo/2009/05/billions-texas-federal-disaster-aid-during-perry-tenure
4. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31522.html